BETHEL — The town of Bethel is researching the possibility of filling in all or part of the detention pond next to the Parkway, in order to provide additional parking in the area.

The Pathway trail, Davis Park playground, boat launch, and now a new skatepark draw many people. As a result, the already limited parking area at Davis Park is often jammed with cars and sometimes snowmobile or boat trailers.

At the other end of the Pathway, another small parking lot has space for about a half dozen vehicles.

At the Nov. 23 selectmen’s meeting, the board and Town Manager Jim Doar discussed the option of filling in the pond, located between the Parkway road and the Pathway.

The pond is part of the stormwater management plan for the Bethel Station development and holds runoff from impervious areas in order that it may slowly soak into the ground.

If the pond were filled with gravel, a new stormwater management plan would have to be funded and created, Doar said.

He plans to contact the Maine Department of Environmental Protection about whether eliminating the pond would be feasible.

Doar said that an alternative plan for parking recreational trailers might also help the space crunch.

Ron Savage, a member of the Bethel Budget Committee, suggested at the meeting that the town consider selling part of the town forest property on Route 2, and use the proceeds to purchase parking space near Bethel Village.

The 115-acre forest parcel is across from the transfer station. A small portion of it is used to spread sludge from the town’s wastewater treatment plant.

Most of the parcel is in Newry.

Selectmen requested that Doar obtain an estimate of the land’s value to use in future discussion.

The board has also been considering a forest management and harvest plan for the property.


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